- Skylight Books: Sun 2/13 5pm, an all-star line-up for Black Clock 13, including Aimee Bender, Janet Fitch and Jonathan Lethem; Thurs 2/24 7:30pm, Jonathan Evison and his new novel West of Here; Sat 2/26 5pm, readings from LA’s newest litmag Slake, including Ben Ehrenreich and Yxta Maya Murray
- New Short Fiction Series: Sun 2/13 7pm, the fiction of O. Henry Award-Nominee Townshend Walker
- Vroman’s Bookstore: Sun 2/13 6:30pm, readings from Slake; Sat 2/19 5pm, peerless songwriters Lieber & Stoller with Hound Dog
- ALOUD at the Central Library: Wed 2/16 7pm, “The Short Story and the Art of Not Knowing,” with Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum and Yiyun Li
- Word Theatre presents a special Valentine’s Day reading, Mon 2/14, “Hearts Aflame,” an evening of love and break-up letters from the 11th to the 21st century
- Sun 7/11 7pm, the New Short Fiction Series presents stories from Suzanne Rivecca’s astounding debut collection, Death Is Not An Option (Norton). Lorrie Moore, Charles Baxter and Jim Shepard all rave about this exciting new voice. Performance and book release, doors at 6:30; $10 in advance, $15 at the door. LA Art Gallery, Barnsdall Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd.
- Skylight Books in Los Feliz brings back “Hot Summer Nights”: starting Sat 7/17 (and running through Aug 28) the store will be open till midnight on Saturday–stop by for snacks, music, and other surprises; also: Fri 7/23 7:30, David Mitchell with his new novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet; and Thurs 7/29 7:30, Vendela Vida with her latest, The Lovers.
- Wed 7/21 7pm, at UCLA’s Hammer Museum, a public reading from the 2010 PEN Emerging Voices–a great chance to catch some exciting new writers, and to check out one of the city’s finest literary venues.
- Tues 7/13 7pm, the Central Library’s ALOUD Series presents a terrific pairing: in conversation, Aimee Bender (just out with her new novel The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake) and Glen David Gold (best known fro Carter Beats The Devil), talking about “fiction, theatre, magic spells, cats, MFAs, and other stuff.”
Pretty much what it sounds like. A literary pub-crawl. On Sunset Boulevard. With Aimee Bender and two other writers. And, all for a good cause. Sold yet?
The cause is PEN USA, a terrific organization that, locally, sponsors an Emerging Voices program, and, internationally, supports dissident writers–and much more. The writers are Aimee Bender (The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, An Invisible Sign of My Own, Willful Creatures), Joseph Mattson (whose novel from last year, Empty the Sun, caught my attention), and Martin Pousson (author of the novel No Place, Louisiana and the poetry collection Sugar).
The event is Saturday February 20, 7pm. The crawl commences at Malo (4326 W Sunset), and moves on to Tiki Ti, Good Luck Bar, and 4100 Bar. Maps provided for those who plan on needing them. Books by Book Soup.
Calendar Update: And speaking of Book Soup… Not sure how I missed this (maybe it was a late addition) but the great Robert Stone will be reading at Book Soup Mon Feb 15, 7pm from his new book Fun With Problems.
The week-long Tin House Summer Writers Workshop is wrapping up, and I wanted to file a brief report before heading out on a hiking trip. It’s my fourth year here, each more than well worth it.
At the online discussion board established so students can download each other’s work and introduce themselves, the conference coordinator dubs each workshop leader with a title. I studied this year with Dorothy Allison. Her title, the Shepard, could not have been more fitting. She is tough, but it’s out of love: love for you, for the characters, for story. She’s a keen reader with an eye both for detail and for what I can only call a larger cosmic vision of where writing fits in the larger scheme.
The week juggles morning workshops with afternoon seminars and evening readings–and then all the informal stuff that makes such a conference so valuable. Highlights included, as in past years, Charles D’Ambrosio packing more challenging thoughts into one hour than many teachers might in a whole week (more on this later, sometime); Bret Anthony Johnston introducing writing exercises from his fine book Naming the World; a very good panel on beginnings (“the beginning is a question for which everything that follows is some kind of answer”); a talk by Aimee Bender on “fructification”; and a party marking the magazine’s 10th anniversary (a lifetime in litmag years) where, among other things, Steve Almond treated us to a tour-de-force deconstruction of the Toto song “Africa.”
The New Short Fiction Series monthly showcases the fiction of West Coast writers, performed by local actors of screen & stage. The Series has in the past featured notable writers such as Aimee Bender, Tod Goldberg, and Gina Ochsner. Here’s what some recent alums have been up to:
- storySouth‘s Most Notable Online Stories 2008 includes both Alicia Gifford (’08) for her story “Lobster Girl” in Smokelong Quarterly; and Thaila Ramanujam (’09) for her story “Life is Awesome” in Cha (which won for best new online magazine)
- Laila Lalami (’06) is out with her first novel, Secret Son (she is previously the author of the collection Hope & Other Dangerous Pursuits), which she will be reading from at Skylight Books on Thurs May 14, 7:30
- and Larry Fondation (twice featured) will be part of Skylight‘s “LA Noir” night Thurs May 7, 7:30
This Friday, May 8 at 8pm, the Series presents “Cake & Other Stories” by Patrick Tobin.
The New Short Fiction Series, LA’s ‘live literary magazine,’ has for twelve years been presenting the work of West Coast writers, performed monthly, the second Friday of every month, at the Beverly Hills Public Library by local stage and screen actors. The show has in the past featured such notable writers as Aimee Bender, Tod Goldberg, Gina Ochsner, and Tin House Editor Lee Montgomery–and, just this year, Night Train Fiction Editor Alicia Gifford, and UCLA instructor Stephanie Waxman.
The September 12 show will feature my stories–three of them from Claudia, the novel-in-stories I am working on. I’m very excited about the stories and the cast. See the new CLAUDIA, Live! page for excerpts and cast notes.
Friday September 12 – Beverly Hills Public Library, 444 North Rexford Drive – show at 8pm, doors at 7:30 – admission $10
If you know people in the area who might be interested, please pass on the word. If you are willing to forward a flyer, send me an e-mail: scribbler3(at)mac(dot)com